The U.S. Supreme Court will hear its first major abortion case since conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett filled the seat of reproductive freedom advocate former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In a direct challenge to Roe, the Court will review a blatantly unconstitutional 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi, which is currently blocked by the lower courts. The Court is expected to rule on this case in 2022.
This is the moment that anti-abortion politicians have been waiting for: by taking up this case, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is seizing their opportunity to challenge Roe v. Wade and chip away at abortion access.
So, what does this mean for Iowa?
Anti-abortion politicians have tried time and time again to restrict abortion access in Iowa. Some laws have stuck, including a ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Other laws attempting to restrict access to safe, legal abortion have been struck down in court, citing Roe or the Iowa constitution.
If Roe were to be overturned or abortion rights were chipped away through the newest Supreme Court case, laws that were previously stopped by the court could be found constitutional and put into effect.
Make no mistake, anti-abortion politicians are trying to establish legal framework to further restrict or ban abortion in Iowa. In the 2021 legislative session, despite an outcry of opposition, anti-abortion politicians passed the first hurdle to amend the Iowa Constitution and strip Iowans of their right to safe, legal abortion. If Roe is overturned and the constitutional amendment fully passes, anti-abortion politicians will be free to effectively ban safe, legal, abortion in our state.
You can help protect safe, legal abortion in Iowa
Rest assured, abortion remains safe and legal in Iowa as we await news from the Supreme Court, but we must fight to keep it that way. The constitutional amendment to pave the way to ban safe, legal abortion in Iowa will have to pass again in the 2023 or 2024 sessions before it is put on the ballot for voters to decide in 2024. Iowans must fight back to keep politicians out of the private health care decisions of Iowans.